A Lesson in Researching Too Much and How it Can Corrupt Self Confidence
August 8, 2020
If you’re following my blog for the past few weeks, you probably noticed I published a new post a day. The reason why I’m doing this is to force myself to think about something besides my everyday problems and put the energy I would normally spend worrying to writing posts. I knew when I did this not everyone will enjoy the posts or read them. I was ok with that because I’m sure not everyone would like everything I post here on this blog or the amount of post I’m suddenly publishing, but it was helpful to me and, hopefully, anyone else who wants to read something everyday.
Even though this has helped me focus on something besides my daily worries, I did have a confidence issue when I blog, especially every day.
When preparing to create this blog, and my first blog Essie of Who in 2011, I did research into creating them. At the time I created Essie of Who, I wanted it to be focused on talking about my art. And, at the time I wanted to be an artist, animator, graphic designer, or anything else in the art related field and wanted a place to post my art and talk about it. I did my research into creating Essie of Who. I looked at other artist’s blogs and social media sites for inspiration to see what I should focus on and what not to focus on. When my doctors discovered in very 2011 the antibiotic resistant infection I had at that time traveled to my right hand and caused some damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerve endings, I decided to switch focus on the blog from art to art, photography, sewing, and anything I can think of that would be classified as “art”. It was an easy switch and none of my followers seemed to mind. (If they did mind, they didn’t tell me so I would never know for certain)
When it came to making a lifestyle blog in 2017, I figured I would do the same thing as I did for Essie of Who: Research other lifestyle blogs, see what I like about them, what I don’t like, and what I ultimately want my new lifestyle blog to be like. All the research I did made me question if I should be a lifestyle blogger and why I wanted to do this from the start.
Something similar happened to me when it came to YouTube. I wanted to have a YouTube channel about lifestyle, art, sewing, and anything else I would like to talk about. When I researched how to run a YouTube channel, I couldn’t find much information about how to record, editing videos, and anything related to the production side of creating videos for YouTube channels. Instead, I read articles and watched videos that, strangely enough, were from some YouTubers I used to follow about how to start a YouTube channel. None of the blog posts and videos helped me. In fact, it rattled my confidence to the point when I didn’t have any.
I’m not unfamiliar with production of videos, movies, and tv shows and editing those videos came easily because I already have a history working with editing videos. Still, I had no idea what to do when it came to a YouTube channel. The videos and blog posts about running a YouTube channel talked about algorithms and using them to the YouTuber’s advantage to gain more followers and more Ad sense revenue. They also talked about having a theme and sticking to it.
The problem is using lifestyle as a theme for a blog and and YouTube channel is hard. Lifestyle blogs and YouTube channels are about the blogger or YouTuber’s likes, interests, and other parts of their life. Focusing on a certain part of my life to talk about is hard for me to do because I enjoy many things. I love watching TV reruns and superhero movies. I also love shabby chic home decor and I watch luxury fashion runway shows and dream of making myself some of the clothes in the shows because I can’t afford the luxury houses’ prices. I’ve attended pop culture conventions, Renaissance festival, operas, and musical theater. I have so many things I’m interested in that I think it’s impossible to have a blog or YouTube channel worthy enough to watch or read. At least, that’s what I felt like when I researched lifestyle blogs.
After all that research, I convinced myself I cannot have a lifestyle YouTube channel or blog like I wanted to. I had to focus on something besides everything I enjoy and would be willing to talk about online. So, I focused on beauty, make up, fashion, and travel. Now that I’m blogging everyday, and Covid-19 halted any plans I had for travel, I knew it would be inevitable that I will need to talk about something else before I run out of ideas. And that means I may drift into the wonderful world of pop culture and geekdom I lived in for my whole entire life because… well… I know about it and can talk about it in multiple posts.
The thing is over time I began to hide parts of my life from social media in order to protect myself from harsh judgement online while I recovered from the infection. I didn’t have the energy to deal with critics, peruse internet fame or notoriety, and I wanted to just be left alone to heal. Now that I’m healthier, I wonder if the time has come to be more open about my hobbies and interests online. But there is a problem with that. Lifestyle bloggers will expand their topics as their follower count and reach increases. I don’t think I’ve reached the follower count yet, but then again I want to talk about other parts of my life I would talk about years ago but didn’t have the energy or confidence to do so.
After trying to do some research into this, I realized something. When will I stop researching? When will I ever stop looking for answers by researching when the answer is to jump with both feet and a heart full of faith? I need to stop second guessing myself and start focusing on my own path instead of what others say I should do. Doing so much research as done nothing for me but scaring me into not doing everything I dreamed I could do not just with blogging, but with life. I researched trying to become a graphic designer and didn’t want to apply for jobs because I didn’t have all the qualifications I believe I need in order to be taken seriously as a job applicant. I don’t blog or run my YouTube channel the way I want to because researched enough to know that I’m not YouTuber or blogger material. Yet, I still have blogs and YouTube channels. They may not have a huge following, but it doesn’t matter. I’m still doing it.
I don’t know what people believe are appropriate qualities for a blogger and YouTuber. Anyone can do it. Can everyone earn a living from it? No, but that doesn’t stop people form trying anyway. If you enjoy it and want to devote money to it as a hobby, then you should do it. Should you talk about everything in your life just because you can or need to write a post? No! Of course not! But if there is a subject or topic you enjoy talking about and want a blog or YouTube channel to talk about, then go for it! Don’t believe everyone who say what the qualities for a YouTuber or blogger are or research yourself into a corner of self confidence issues.
Just because the internet is the internet doesn’t mean you’re not going to feel pain of rejection or frustration. Focus on what you do best and try to learn from your mistakes without leaning on those failures as a reason you’re not worthy of thinking positive thoughts about anything, especially yourself. Blogging and YouTube are great ways to expose the world to your knowledge and talent. That’s why I enjoy it so much. I do wish I didn’t do as much researching as much as I did because the research didn’t pay off at all. Some of it did, (Such as this post from The Elgin Avenue) but not all of it.